The Fourth Industrial Revolution is well upon us and technology is bringing new ways in shaping society, including the way we work.
Shifts in business technology have created a balancing act for many companies. Automation affecting old jobs and creating new ones. Businesses are seeing challenges in marketing to an ever-evolving market; an ageing population, but also digital natives. There is also heightened sensitivity around changes to government and trade policies and how these will affect businesses, both long term and short term.
A recent report on The Future of Jobs from The World Economic Forum has revealed that the main technological drivers impacting the future of work and business are; high-speed internet (as we soon welcome 5g), artificial intelligence, the adoption of big data, and the cloud in business.
Companies will need to leverage these technologies to impact business growth and development, integrating the new job roles that these will bring into their processes. With the ever-evolving landscape that the technology market offers, businesses will need to refocus their approach and broaden their market appeal through new products and services tailored to digital native consumers. According to the report, automation technology over the next 10 – 20 years could bring with it investment of up to $8 trillion in the US alone.
Interestingly enough, the report has also highlighted the negative impacts to business growth as being, cybersecurity, unstable or changing government policies, climate change and ageing societies. Businesses will need to be quick to react to these issues, if they haven’t already, and stay engaged with consumers to still compete within the market.
Robotics and artificial intelligence bring with them a promise of increased productivity but implications mare the progress when taking into account the effect this will have on people’s lives; jobs, wages, and even skills people have – will they be considered transferable so that these people can move to other jobs?
The insecurity for many labourers and workers reliant on manual jobs has also been heightened by the uncertainty of European trade deals following the UK’s departure from the EU.
With the rollout of 5g, will become an even more powerful network to support the internet of things and connected devices on a larger scale. With greater data capacity and higher speeds, 5g will bring the possibilities of automation to the fore, along with helping develop and innovate other technologies. The Internet of Things has been growing for years, but 5g will see the pace pick up with an infrastructure capable of supporting even more connected devices at higher speeds.
We should see even greater efficiency in the running of digital workplaces thanks to 5g; smart meeting rooms, larger companies with a global presence will be able to collaborate better – allowing problems to be tackled more efficiently over a number of sites. This has the potential to completely disrupt and transform industries like healthcare, manufacturing, farming and commerce.
There is also set to be an increase in remote working – as many companies and workers are shifting toward a flexible approach to working, having greater processing and connectivity power will only support workers achieving a better work-life balance. Being able to work from anywhere, at any time – quicker to react to problems. We don’t live in a 9-5 world anymore, especially when we work in a global market. Companies adopting this will reap the benefits in employee satisfaction, productivity eliminating long commute times amongst others.
What do you think the future of work looks like? Is your company making changes to adapt?